Babar Azam led from the front as Pakistan hammered hosts New Zealand by six wickets in their tri-series Twenty20 international in Christchurch on Saturday.

Babar Azam banked on the impressive work of pace duo Haris Rauf and Mohammad Wasim as Pakistan hammered hosts New Zealand by six wickets in their tri-series Twenty20 international in Christchurch on Saturday.

The Pakistan skipper, during a successful run chase of 148, scored an unbeaten 79 off 53 balls at a strike rate of 149.05 to make it two wins out of two for his side in the tournament. The Green Shirts had beaten Bangladesh in their first match at the same venue on Friday.

The three teams are using the week-long tournament to prepare for the T20 World Cup in Australia this month.

Earlier today, after choosing to bat first, the Black Caps appeared to be on course for a modest total at Hagley Oval before Chapman’s 32 off 16 balls, which featured three fours and two sixes.

New Zealand laid the foundation of their innings through opener Devon Conway (36 off 35) and captain Kane Williamson (31 off 30), although both struggled for timing during a 61-run stand for the second wicket.

It was another frustrating outcome for the accomplished Williamson, who has passed 50 on just two occasions in all formats over the last 18 months, a period that has encompassed 29 innings.

He was clean-bowled attempting a slog-sweep off-spinner Mohammad Nawaz, while Chapman holed out to a slower ball from Pakistan’s best bowler, paceman Haris Rauf (3-28).

Teams

New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (captain), Glenn Phillips, Mark Chapman, James Neesham, Michael Bracewell, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Blair Tickner.

Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Shan Masood, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Asif Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Wasim, Haris Rauf, Shahnawaz Dahani.

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